New winery Amaterra planned in picturesque West Hills
A new winery with an accompanying vineyard called Amaterra will open in Portland's West Hills in spring 2021, and winemaker Matt Vuylsteke can hardly wait for visitors to enjoy the picturesque setting and varietals such as pinot noir and chardonnay.
"I'm so proud to finally be able to talk about this project, which we've been working on since 2012," Vuylsteke said. "Having the opportunity to produce wines from world-class vineyards with state-of-the-art equipment and our incredibly talented and supportive team has truly been a dream of mine since I started in winemaking 23 years ago."
It'll give Portland-area wine lovers a unique opportunity. Whereas there are plenty of urban wineries and tasting rooms in the Portland area, Amaterra sits about three miles from downtown Portland at Southwest Miller Road, in West Haven-Sylvan, just up from Barnes Road and overlooking the Tualatin Valley.
And, the owners will be growing grapes, while also relying on established relationships with others from the Willamette Valley AVA (American Viticultural Area). In fact, the 12-acre vineyard — a lot of space for an urban area — already has been growing grapes.
The estate will include a tasting room, a gravity-flowing winemaking facility, chef-driven restaurant, indoor/outdoor event spaces, and a lawn for concerts, performances, weddings, family gatherings, community celebrations and business meetings. The project broke ground in 2019.
Amaterra plans to produce 10,000 cases of wine annually.
Amaterra, which means "for the love of the Earth," reflects the love of Oregon wine and appreciation for the region's beauty and bounty, said Werner Nistler, co-founder of the winery and founder of retirement community chain Touchmark, which has a location on Barnes Road.
"As we are able to gather together, this property — with its great expanse and stunning views — will be the perfect destination for those looking to take in the fruits of the Willamette Valley," Nistler said.
Vuylsteke has worked for various wineries in Dundee, and he had always wanted to bring a winery to the Portland area.
"It's a beautiful site, the views are tremendous," he said.
"Our focus is definitely going to be on having the consumer experience the winery. We'll have a direct-to-consumer focus," he added. "We're looking to make a single vineyard pinot noir to showcase our estate and others we're sourcing from."
Amaterra adds to an urban winery scene that features wineries and tasting rooms around the metro area.
"In terms of urban wineries, it's very friendly among the community," Vuylsteke said. "But, (Amaterra) will be more similar to wine country than urban winery. We're different in that way."
For more on Amaterra, see www.AmaterraWines.com.
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